As a California girl, living in Paris has been a riveting experience. But coming from a place where there is abundant sunshine all year around, it’s also been a bit of a struggle. And, if you’ve been to Paris in the winter, you know what I mean. The city often puts on a gloomy gray coat and sunshine can be hard to come by. However, despite the chill and leaves being long gone, there are still places in Paris to enjoy beautiful plant life while staying warm.
Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil
Perhaps the most surprising find was the Serres d’Auteuil in the Bois de Boulogne. Pop out of the metro at Porte d’Auteuil, wind your way through the Poets’ Garden, and you’ll be met with an array of greenhouses. The entry is free, and you’ll find an international plant selection, with rooms dedicated to specimens from sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australia, and Asia — just to get started.
Two greenhouses of high interest may include one dedicated to cacti, and another to orchids. Some rooms may be closed to the public if a gardener is not present, due to the fragile nature of some plants, but tours can also be arranged ahead of time.
Jardin du Petit Palais
The Petit Palais serves as Paris’ fine art museum, housing the city’s art collection. The works date from the 19thcentury and are a mix of commissions by the city and purchased art. Wander the sculpture hall and slip out into the garden, with its tiled mosaics and fresco that adorn the portico ceiling. While some trees have lost their leaves, there are plenty of evergreen plants surrounding the three ponds, including a line-up of palm and banana trees. After taking a tour through the gravelled pathways, stop into the café. Amandine Chaignot, notably of Plaza Athénée, Le Meurice, and Le Crillon, designed the menu.
Grandes Serres du Jardin des Plantes
A botanical garden and greenhouse akin to the Serres d’Auteuil located in the Latin Quarter. For 7€, pass through the Art Deco colonnade and discover jungle vegetation. Another section shows off plants that thrive in the planet’s arid regions, but perhaps what is most impressive is the greenhouse dedicated to the Oceania archipelago. You’ll also want time to explore the evolution of plants, tracing over 430 million years of history.
While the city’s trees may be bare, that’s what makes these sweet little pockets of greenery all the more delightful. They may be lacking in the majesty of Paris’ larger gardens, but, on the other hand, offer an opportunity to learn more about some of the plants we appreciate, discover new ones, and just hang out and enjoy the vibe in the midst of winter .
- Cozy up for a meal fireside at one of these restaurants.
- Art abounds with these exhibitions for 2020.
- Add a little twist to the same old girls’ night out with these hip new ideas.
Written by Marissa Wu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.